Published July 24. 2013 4:00AM
Allison Hightower is an all-star for the first time.
Connecticut's fourth-year guard was named to the Eastern League Conference team as a reserve on Tuesday and will be joined by Sun teammate Tina Charles, the reigning MVP, when the WNBA All-Star Game takes place on Saturday (3:30 p.m., Chs. 6, 8) at Mohegan Sun Arena.
"My heart about stopped," Hightower said Tuesday in a statement released by the Sun. "It is just a great feeling being one of the players that is going to the All-Star Game. It's an honor."
Hightower is having a career year for the Sun (4-11), who will try to end a two-game losing streak tonight when they play their third straight road game, this time at the Atlanta Dream (10-5). She is averaging a career-high 13.4 points per game, including a career best 23 against the San Antonio Silver Stars back on July 14.
It will be Charles' second all-star appearance. The former UConn All-American currently leads the WNBA in double-doubles (10) while leading the Sun in scoring (18.6) and rebounds (10.3).
"It never gets old," Charles said. "It's an honor to play with such a talented group of fellow all-stars. To be able to play on my home court makes it that much better."
The reserves were chosen by the WNBA head coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own players and could only choose players from their own division.
"Both players are so deserving of this honor," Sun coach Anne Donovan said. "Tina has been the anchor of this team all season and Allie has quietly emerged as one of the best two-way guards in the WNBA. I'm excited for both of them."
Chicago's Sylvia Fowles, Indiana's Shavonte Zellous and two Washington players - Crystal Langhorne and Ivory Latta - were also named Eastern Conference reserves while the Western Conference reserves include Minnesota's Lindsay Whalen and Rebekkah Brunson, Kristi Toliver and Nneka Ogwumike from Los Angeles, Danielle Robinson of San Antonio and Tulsa's Glory Johnson.
The previously-announced Eastern Conference starters, as voted on by the players, are Elena Delle Donne and Epiphanny Prince of Chicago, New York's Cappie Pondexter, Indiana's Tamika Catchings and Atlanta's Angel McCoughtry.
The Western Conference starters are Candace Parker of Los Angeles, Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi of Phoenix, and Minnesota's Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus.